Starting tonight, SBS tackles the mouthwatering world of reality cooking with its new show "Showdown! Star Chef."
Headed by prominent Korean chef Edward Kwon, whose hefty resume includes the hotel head chef of the famed Burj Al Arab in Dubai, "Showdown! Star Chef" puts the spotlight on the agricultural delights of Korea`s terra firma.
For each episode, a specific ingredient is selected and Kwon and his five celebrity "sous chefs" travel to the area where it is produced or cultivated.
After delving into the history and properties of the ingredient, the five "sous chefs" -- MC Park Soo-hong, actor Kwon Oh-jung, actor-and-singer Lee Hyun-woo, announcer-turned-TV personality Oh Young-sil, and actress Ko Eun-a -- compete for the right to take part in the final cook-off.
Though "sous chef" Kwon does not possess culinary expertise on par with that of Edward Kwon, actor Kwon Oh-jung did train for his role as top chef Oh Bong-ju in the hit SBS series "Sikgaek" (2008). Now actor Kwon`s skills will be put to the test as he battles his co-stars.
Tonight, viewers can follow the show`s cast as they trek out to Ganghwa-gun`s muddy banks to catch eels, this week`s special ingredient. Chef Kwon will act as judge and select two to three "sous chefs" to cook up some tasty eel dishes for their guest this week. The final winner will be selected by the guest judge and Edward Kwon.
Part foodie road trip, part cooking contest, director Lee Chang-jae says that half of the show will take place outdoors and half of it will take place in a restaurant-like studio, where a celebrity or high profile guest will be invited to take part in the judging on a weekly basis.
But MC Park, actor Kwon, actor-and-singer Lee, announcer-turned-TV personality Oh and actress Ko won`t be the only ones taking to the kitchen. Gourmands will also get to see top chef Kwon in action.
Edward Kwon, whose prominent stints include the W Seoul-Walkerhill and the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, differentiated "Showdown! Star Chef" from other shows of the same genre, stating: "In contrast to regular cooking programs, the presence of stars in this show will be able to lead to an increased interest in cooking ... I hope to spread an awareness of good Korean ingredients through this opportunity."
"Showdown! Star Chef" airs its first episode tonight on SBS at 8:50 p.m. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Jean Oh